Hola! Daily Prompt! We did jealousy last week. Really. Exactly one week ago, on May 8th, 2015. It was a good one too and I invite all of you to read “DON’T COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S ASS.” And if that’s not enough, you can also read my original response from August 2013, “MONEY CAN’T BUY IT.” 

Instead of something more on this worn out subject (not a favorite from the beginning) because I have nothing more to say about jealousy, here’s a favorite anecdote. It’s funny, and a cautionary tale for assholes everywhere.

MOTTO: Make sure, when you set out to humiliate someone, that the shoe does not wind up in your mouth. And that is all the metaphor mixing I can handle for today.

NOTE: The photographs are irrelevant to the story, but I like them, so I’ve used them.

In the mid 1980s in Israel, I worked at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot with the team developing DB1, the first relational database. Those familiar with databases and their history should go “Ooh, aah.” Feel free to be awed. These are my bona fides certifying my “original geekhood.”

I was never a developer, just a computer-savvy writer, but I worked extensively on Quix, the first real-English query language and documented DB-1. I was eventually put in charge of creating promotional materials to sell the project to IBM. They bought it and from it, DB2 and all other relational databases emerged. Cool beans, right?

Technical writing was new. In 1983, it didn’t have a name. I was a pioneer. I didn’t chop down forests or slaughter aboriginal inhabitants, but I went where no one had gone before. Breaking new ground was exciting and risky.


The president of the group was named Micah. He was the “money guy.” Micah knew less about computers than me, but wielded serious clout. His money was paying our salaries, rent, and keeping the lights on. The definition of clout.

As the day approached when the team from IBM was due, it was time for me to present the materials I had created with Ruth, a graphic artist who had been my art director at the failed newspaper I’d managed the previous year. (This was well before computers could generate graphics properly.) Ruth was amazing with an airbrush. I’ve never seen better work.

72-bouquet afternoon_41

The presentation materials were as perfect as Ruth and I could make them. I had labored over that text and she had done a brilliant job creating graphics that illustrated the product, its unique capabilities and benefits. And so it came time for the pre-IBM all-hands-on-deck meeting.

Micah didn’t like me. His dislike wasn’t based on anything I did or even my disputable personality. He didn’t like women in the workplace. I was undeniably female. As was Ruth. Strike one, strike two. At the meeting, he looked at our materials and announced “We need better material. I’ve heard there’s a real hot-shot in Jerusalem. I’ve seen his work. It’s fantastic. We should hire him.” And he stared at me and sneered.


Onto the table he tossed booklets as well as other promotional and presentation materials for a product being developed in Haifa at the Technion. I looked at the stuff.

“That’s my work, ” I said.

“No it isn’t,” he said firmly. “I’ve heard it was created by the best technical writer in the country.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Me.”

He was not done with humiliating himself. He insisted a phone be brought to the table and he called his friend Moshe in Jerusalem. I’d worked for Moshe, quitting because although I liked the man, he couldn’t keep his hands to himself. I had a bad-tempered, jealous husband — something I didn’t feel obliged to reveal.

Moshe gave Micah the name of The Hot Shot. It was me.

“Oh,” said Micah. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have to. The deadpan faces around the table were elegant examples of people trying desperately to not laugh. Micah wasn’t a guy you laughed at, not if you wanted to keep your job.

Hyannis show window

It was a moment of triumph so sweet — so rare — nothing else in my working life came close. I won one for The Team, for professional women everywhere. Eat it, Micah.

Categories: Anecdote, History, Humor, Israel, Science, Technology, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

31 replies

  1. You tell awesome stories. I’m going to try to find your book.


  2. We take our victories wherever and whenever we can. Thanks for sharing your story, it must have felt wonderful!


  3. Great story. I’m with you on that one. Your last photo was amazing.


  4. I recall this story from a long ago post, and had a feeling it was leading to good ol’ Micah again. Some people should just stick to paying the rent and keeping the lights turned on…


    • It was round 3 of this particular prompt and I had nothing at all to say about it. So I posted a favorite story. I like the happy ending. He was a total asshole. Even though my career lasted more than 30 years after that, he was still one of the top two assholes of my life.


  5. Very funny post title. Makes me wonder where the original expression came from “eat crow”. I can only imagine that “Crow” must be a very bad tasting bird..??


  6. And thus a mantra is born. “Eat it, Micah!”


  7. Read this episode earlier in your book. I loved seeing you winning. It was really a moment of triumph.


  8. I am an autodidact with the compurter. Some things I get and some I do not. I never got into DOS (Mr. Swiss did) and I must say I admire your gift of database stuff. Your triumph over the boss was perfect.


    • Well, I didn’t really have a choice. That was the work that was available. I got a six-week course in system analysis — which is NOT programming — so I could understand what was going on … and I liked it. Data management is logical. It made sense to me and I stayed largely in database design and management for the rest of my career … about 35 years. It was (pause) serendipity. I had never heard of database design or management until it became the center of my life. Weird how stuff just happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, that was sooooo satisfying! Thank you for sharing that, Marilyn.


  10. I couldn’t believe that they had a rerun just in one week. that’s pretty sad. I liked your post. Moral of your story “If people desperately try to make a fool of themselves…let them”.


  11. Ha! In your face, Micah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This brings back memories (not good ones). 😦 I’m glad you emerged victorious!


  13. I love the story, Marilyn. Micah was an ass, and you made everyone see it.


  14. That last pic is my favorite; there’s so much to look at. It’s tricky to get a nice reflection like that. So often there’s vehicles or buildings instead of trees. Love it!


    • Thank you 🙂 I took a lot of pictures to get a few (very few) good ones. It’s easier to get reflections in water than in glass, but I loved that window with all its strange stuff. I kept trying it from different angles and out of a couple of dozen pictures, I got two i liked. My advice to everyone continues to be: take a lot of pictures. It increases the likelihood of getting one that’s really special:-)

      Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Just another WordPress site

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns



The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More



Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World


Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

A Day In The Life

People, Places, Nature, LIFE!

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

Red's Wrap

Happiness. It's relative.

%d bloggers like this: